tv [untitled] July 9, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PDT
but anyway. that is part of the excitement here for the staff. i love your bike racks and the way you are conducting yourselves here and growing, and by the end of the year, talking about 75 or 80 people working here, that relevancy for my neighbors, me, the residents of the city, who actually, when you talk with them, they all want to do better. they live in a city where they want to feel they belong to the whole movement. that is why i moved to san francisco. there were a lot of movements i wanted to lead and others i wanted to join. when it comes to improvement of the environment, we want to be part of them -- the movement. we want to be part of the best city in the country. how do we get there? we personalize it. we go about every week. this is where we are saying what goes in the green and blue
boxes, and we personalize our challenge making sure we know the things we use where it goes so we can get to the 100% recycling, zero ways. we talked about it to our friends in china. do you live in a city that is committed to zero ways? you are not up there yet. when it comes to energy efficiency, when it comes to clean tat, -- to clean tech, we would like to talk to people and make sure it is personal to them. that is why i am excited about personalizing it, making it relevant, creating a competitiveness to it, but also a friendly, social environment where people can say, "i am part of san francisco. this is what i do to live here." when we reduce energy consumption, that will meet other people and more people can live in our city.
it becomes expensive and unaffordable if we do not start thinking about shared values and shared living standards. that is why i am also excited about the movement about our shared economy. you are part of that. we can reduce the footprint of our people, and more people can enjoy the richness of our city. i am year for all those reasons as well as what you mentioned earlier. they are coming back, and we get to celebrate that with you. five years from now, 3000 employees here at full power celebrating an nba championship right in our water from rita. this will be great, right? first of all, thank you very much for being part of a great company. thank you for so many of you living in our city, and thank you, alex, and the whole staff for having such a great model for clean tech, energy- efficient, and thank you for partnering with the city.
we will find those opportunities to partner with you. you have a great model, and we are going to search for ways to do that. already been educated about what i do not have, which is digital thermometers in my house. i have a baby thermometer. that is how i feel warm, but thank you very much, and congratulations for being part of a great, successful -- now i know why president obama came to you back in 2009. this is that great feeling. he had a vision there to share with you. i get to share that vision now, and hopefully in the next four years, we will do a lot of work together. congratulations. [applause] >> i want to introduce steve, the vp who oversees all of our work at piccinni, oversees the service is brought to you, who are customers of the utility -- all of our work at pg&e.
thank you, steve. >> let me just say -- welcome to the neighborhood. thank you guys for choosing to come out here and join us in our home city. we are proud that you are here. we are proud to be part of this city and a partner with you and we look for to achieving those goals you laid out. we talked about making energy personal for our customers. you have to make it personal for it to have an impact on your life, and there's probably no better example of that then the relationship you have an old power and the work you help do for our customers. i heard this morning the commission from thecpuc -- the cpuc was making a speech, and she was happy to get her report and had one smiley face and was committed to getting to two. that is one great example of making it personal.
there is the work we do with social. we have the opportunity to engage people. we have a passion. we give them the information so they can help accomplish their goals. there is another aspect of this, which is really important, which i wanted to thank you all for. i have talked to a lot of our other customers, some of whom are less fortunate in terms of their income and what they have the ability to do. they may be struggling on a monthly basis to pay their bills and to do the things they want to do in their lives. i was speaking to one customer in particular, who was excited to get their report because it helped start them on a journey to use less energy. they did simple things, they took civil actions, they became more aware, and as a result, they were saving about 20% on their bill. that has a huge impact on their life and what they can do. that is another way we can make it really personal, and that is another thing i get excited
about. energy has the opportunity to power our lives and help us achieve our goals. i'm excited about where we can go with the partnership. again, thank you for joining us. thank you for the partnership. i know many of the folks in this office have probably work some late nights to deliver for us and deliver for our customers, and i want to thank you for all that commitment. i also want to say how happy we are to have you as a customer year in san francisco. i have a feeling you are probably one of our most efficient customers in san francisco. i saw your groupon, the facebook atp -- app to see how you were doing, and you kind of put us to shame. thanks, and welcome. >> thank you. to bank a few more people and
provide more context for why we are opening this office here in san francisco, we started this company five years a po intrero hill with the notion -- in potr ero hill with the notion that most customers all over the world think energy is boring and the only time they think about it is when something does not work or when a bill comes that is unexpectedly high. we realize -- we thought, anyway, that if we provided people with more compelling information, took the phenomenal data that was coming into utilities, that we could begin to drive behavior change and drive changes in everyday lives of ordinary people. earlier this month, we celebrated having saved a tara what our of energy in partnership with utilities and customers. et al. what our of energy means practically nothing to anybody, but it is a lot of electricity,
enough to power a city of 200,000 people for a whole year. what is just as exciting -- more exciting than saving the first taro hour of energy is we are going to save another tarawa of energy over the next 12 months. it took us five years to get to the first tarawa hour. it will take less than 12 months to get to the next. to put that in context another way, the entire solar industry in the u.s. produced around 1.7 tarawa hours of electricity last year. this small company in partnership with really phenomenal large companies is having an impact that is approximately 2/3 of that, and we feel like we are just getting started. i feel confident that our ability to have an impact will grow strongly because of the partnerships that the mayor has highlighted, the partnership with facebook. the partnership with honeywell. to be imagine the thermostat. particularly the partnership we have with utilities like pg&e.
i think there is someone here from the city of palo alto utilities, and we have worked with for a long time. utilities like back -- you guys are brave. utilities have had the same business model and the same basic delivery for a very long time. to recognize and appreciate that your customers could become real partners is a really brave thing to do in an industry that has been understandably risk averse before. we are thrilled to be your partner in that change and to be providing better services and tools to your customers, to give them more control and in doing so, to build a stronger relationship and help them save. the one thing i wanted to thank were our partners. the second group to thank is government. diane is here. she was commissioner on the puc.
have beenn 0 fromrdc -- we have people from nrdc. thanks of great regulation -- regulation gets a bad name these days, but when implemented correctly, it can be a phenomenal force for good, and the state of california has led the way. local governments -- this is a phenomenal city to do business in a, a city which has attracted and under the mayor's leadership accelerated the attraction of other tech companies and built an ecosystem. when you want to start a business, you want to open an office, you need to go to where the talent is, and there is not a city in the world that has more talented people than the city of san francisco. we are thrilled to be here and
to have your leadership. i do not know if we will be at 3000 employees, but if the warriors win the championship, we will be there to celebrate and to help in any way we can. we look forward to being a long- term partner of yours and the city's for years to come. of course, the third group to thank here it is it is great to have a beautiful office, but what's most important it are the people who come in every day. i feel phenomenally blessed to have such wonderful colleagues. we started two of us at a desk five years ago. there are now 250 of us that the company. 50 people worked out of this office. we plan to double that in the next 12 months. the mayor already met our lead recruiter are here. when president obama came to
visit our offices in virginia, we were 60 people. we told him we would double the company in 12 months, and he went to donny and said, "i understand you are the job czar." and she was, and we did. it is really special to be part of a community of people who are incredibly talented, who are hard working and who work those late nights and come from different industries to work together on such an important issue, an important issue for our city, an important issue for the state, and an important issue for the planet. really appreciate you guys all coming to celebrate our opening of this office. i know there is a ribbon for us to cut. i am ready to cut it. [applause]
commissioner white, here. commissioner riley, here. we have a quorum. president adams: next item. >> at this time we will call item no. 3. is that correct? general public comment. >> this is general public comment for anything that is not on our agenda. if anyone has any public comment that is not on our agenda today. seeing no public comment.
>> would you like to call item 4 and 5 together? discussion of possible action to make recommendations to the board of supervisors. file 120681. initiative ordinance, business tax and regulations code and the gross receipts. introduced by the mayor and president chiu:. in your packet is the ordinance no. legislative digest. there items of public comment and staff notes. >> i would like to thank the mayor, a supervisor david to -- chiu, the city chief economist and their staff for their intensive our reach -- outreach and facilitating many questions
and recommendations and ideas on these ordinances. so thank you. >> item 5, discussion of possible action to make recommendations to the board of supervisors initiative ordinance and tax regulations code. this is introduced by supervisor avalos. in your packet is the ordinance digest along with public comment and staff notes. i do want to note for both items we have presentations of the supervisors' representatives for the mayor with each respective item and we have a presentation from the comptroller's office. both items are [inaudible] >> i wanted to make sure that you see your handouts. supervisor provided an outline
of the chart outlining the relationship. staff has provided you with a fairly large hand out so it is easier to read that key components, the different schedules instead of looking through the powerpoint that ted egan has provided the commission. with that, [inaudible] president adams: president chiu. president chiu: it is great to be here talking about a topic that is near and dear to me that is the topic i have been thinking about ever since i sat in your seats years ago. we know the topic of this is tax reform that is one that the
small business community has been wrestling with for the better part of a decade. we all know that san francisco is the only city in the state of california that charges a business payroll tax as our main way of asking our business community to help us pay for city services. as the only city in the state that does that, obviously, that has created a certain amount of disincentives to the creation of jobs. at this time, only 10% of all businesses pay the business payroll tax and there has been for many years a discussion of the unfairness of those businesses that have had to shoulder the burden and a lot of small businesses that have been in more labour intensive industries. in 2010, i have asked the commission to consider when possible variation of the payroll tax which we considered and debated for a number of months. mayor lee and i asked our city controller and chief economist to spend a number of months
researching in detail what for possible alternatives to the business payroll tax which has led us to the conversation that we're about to have today. i think you know the gross receipts tax is used in over three dozen cities in california. i want to thank our controller and our chief economist and their staff for putting together a proposal thing makes an awful lot of sense. you'll be hearing about the proposal in greater detail but the gross receipts proposal that is being put forth, that is quite different from our current flat payroll tax is a much more progressive tax in that the rates set by industries kehl-scale up with chris recedes. with the twiggs we saw last year, we saw an increase in technology and innovative sectors. we're all joined in wanting to see our business tax reform forward in a way that will continue that job creation.
i want to take a moment to thank the leadership of the business community for engaging with city hall on this question. many of you have been involved in the conversations and many leaders in the small business community have been at the table giving us feedback on what is we need to do. i happen to think we're closing to -- closer to real business tax to four -- reform. i wanted knowledge supervisor avalos. he has a slight variance of the proposal we are putting forth which is a difference in the level of revenues that we hope to bring in on this topic. i am glad that the two proposals that are being discussed are based on the same course receipts proposal adjusting revenue levels based on our business license fee. i think we all acknowledge we have a significant structure of budget deficits and the question is how we're going to pay for that. it is my hope the small business
commission will support this move and i want to thank those of you who have indicated some feedback in -- and positive feedback. it is my plan to continue to work with all stakeholders to move us to one proposal that we can place on the november ballot to move this forward. unfortunate -- i have other committee meetings i have to attend saar will not be able to stay for the rest of today's conversation. my staff is monitoring the developments and we look forward to further conversation and thank you for your service. president adams: thank you. except my jason elliott -- next up, jason elliott. >> supervisor avalos, you have a meeting. welcome. supervisor avalos: thank you,
commissioners, and thank you for weighing in on this important subject. i have introduced the board of supervisors for your review part of the transparent democratic process. an ordinance i am submitting. the small business relief and economic recovery initiative. it has three main parts to protect small businesses and encourage job growth, to generate revenue to support our economic recovery and to make the largest corporations pay their fair share. i am happy to have the co- sponsor ship of many of the members of my -- the board of supervisors. i want to thank the great work of the comptroller's office in putting this measure together. ted egan for his work, reaching out to many parts of the business sector and much of the modeling that has been going on. ben rosenfield and others.
we have the opportunity of taking our business tax system which is an archaic system based on payroll which does have an inhibiting effect on job creation in san francisco. we also are -- we of the current extension of ipos. we are the -- we have a current extension of ipo's. this would elminate the taxation that occurs. it will happen if we don't make changes to the community. revenue generation is a vital part of what we want to do with our business tax especially in 2001, there was a change that happened when many businesses, some of the largest corporations in san francisco had settled to
eliminate the gross receipts tax that had existed at that time. there are parts of the business community that are not paying the same kind of taxes they were in the past and it has created a hole. we would expect $40 million you're counting our financing for the settlement as well as inflationary measures. people would say our business tax has increased dramatically over the years despite the settlement but i would say a lot of things have increased dramatically. inflationary rates on many of our delivery of services in san francisco have to increase dramatically as well. as we're seeing the local economy picked up, it creates some strains to make sure we can meet the demands that our economy is facing. demands on public services be they muni or public safety measures, department or fire department, roads that dpw has to make up. we're seeing our resources stretched as our economy is
growing. we have to make sure we are researching their red effectively. that is why i'm looking at revenue generation as a vital part of how we are supporting businesses. i have a handout that is here. over the years we have not seen major changes to our business tax. since to them and what we had a real estate transfer tax that has been applied but we have seen tax increases that have happened to our business community. we have seen incredible fee increases that have hit. -- have hit businesses large and small. the fee increases are the things that have had the most detrimental effect on the business climate in san francisco rather than a business tax in general. we have seen those every year. as fee increases the board has to either prove or we have to not approve and find the money to replace the fees. that is a hard thing to do. revenue generating can limit -- we can go forward on fee
increases in the future. that is of the gatt would like to engage with the small business commission to see how we can roll back some of the fees that have been hit on a lot of our small mom-and-pop businesses. we can look at rolling back fees instead. i have here when page that discusses the main differences between the mayor's proposal and the proposal that come from them members of the board of supervisors. they are the same pretty much and the presenter from the comptroller's office will discuss the main parts of this. i want to make sure you have this highlighted before you. ours is different in that our measure is silent on the current exemptions that were enacted over the past couple of years, the mid market petrol tax exemption, the biotech exemption, and the green tech exemptions that were done, renewed last year and the enterprise zone exemption. my measure is silent. i was asked whether i wanted to
have language that would forever eliminate the possibility of having these exemptions go forward. my measure should be silent on that and we will go through the democratic process to decide how we're going to continue or not continue this measures. that is something that is up before the board of supervisors about what to do about those exemptions. i imagine that as part of the discussion we can have with the mayor's office about how these revenue generators can go forward through these exemptions. also you see the scale of how we are applying the registration fee. hours differs from the mayor in that our field -- our fees are smaller. you do not see a major bump up until the business has a gross receipts tax of over $25 million. that is making sure that we are enabling some benefits for
smaller businesses. businesses that are the lifeblood of san francisco. they're getting the most benefit from this measure. i want to highlight that for you and thank you for your consideration. i cannot stay here the whole time but i appreciate your weighing in on this measure and ultimately, i am hoping that we do not have two competing measures. that we have one measure that goes forward to the ballot that has the support of the majority if not all the members of the board and the mayor's support. that is the kind of grouping that we need to have for this measure to be successful and i look forward to working with you on it when we do come to that agreement. >> how much time do you have? supervisor avalos: i could probably stay here until 2:40 p.m. at the latest. >> will be able to have the presentations and there might still be time. i wanted to make sure there was
time for both -- for questions about supervisors. president adams: jason elliott from the mayor's office. think you for taking the time to consider these two important measures. i want to pile on and say things as well on behalf of the mayor to jay and ted egan and the comptroller for all the work they have done for many months and many hundreds of hours and analysis and through some complicated issues so the mayor spinks is extended to the comptroller's office. -- the mayor's thanks is extended to the comptroller's office. i also largely on behalf of the mayor agree with most of what supervisor avalos said. he accurately characterized both measures, the importance for
business tax reform and the differences are subtle but important between our measure and a measure that he and his co-sponsors put forward. before i talk about what makes them different, i want to reemphasize and underlined the -- this is about removing a tax on jobs and there is no group of commissioners or people more conversant in the importance of doing that which is removing the tax on jobs. we have as has been stated the only kind of tax on payrolls. in the state. we need to move away from that system and i appreciate the leadership over the last several years on moving the conversation for. it is not easy conversation. it is complicated. we're still finding new questions. underlining that this is about removing the tax on jobs and making us more competitive, i would turn for a moment to what makes the measures